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June 25, 2022

Eagles player review: Sua Opeta edition

Eagles NFL
Sua_Opeta_Eagles_Giants_1226211_Kate_Frese141.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Sua Opeta

During the offseason, we'll be taking a close look at Philadelphia Eagles players of interest who are currently on the roster, but maybe we don't know a lot about them just yet. Today we'll look at interior offensive lineman Sua Opeta.

Previously published player reviews

Zech McPhearson | Jack Anderson | A.J. Brown
Jason Huntley | Andre Dillard | Quez Watkins | Le'Raven Clark

Coming out of Weber State, Opeta had some intriguing athletic measurables, notably his 40 time, and some explosiveness traits (vertical jump, broad jump, and bench press).

Over the last two seasons, Opeta has started five games, including a start in the Eagles' playoff loss to the Buccaneers. In those games, Opeta has had difficult blocking assignments. In his two starts in 2020, both against the Giants, he mainly saw Leonard Williams, who had 11.5 sacks that year. 

In 2021, he had three starts:

  1. Week 15 against the Commanders, mainly seeing Jonathan Allen at LG.
  2. The meaningless Week 18 game against the Cowboys, at LG.
  3. The Eagles' playoff loss to the Buccaneers, when he faced guys like Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh, at RG.

We did a deep dive on Opeta on our nation's birthday last summer, and I was pleasantly surprised by his solid play.

He exhibited the athleticism noted above, as he was able to get on the move as a puller as well as executing double teams and then getting to the second level. He also showed that he was capable of getting down the field in the screen game. 

In pass protection, he lost some reps, but generally speaking did a good job on an above average starting DE/DT. I was also impressed with his recognition of stunts and blitzes for a player with limited experience. 

For this exercise, I mainly focused on his start against the Commanders, since he had a very difficult assignment in Allen. One again, I saw more good than bad. A look:

Opeta's 2022 outlook

Opeta could be an important player for the Eagles in 2022 because he could be in line to move up into Nate Herbig's role as an interior lineman off the bench who can play both sides. Herbig has been a third stringer in each of the last two seasons, but he has played a lot of snaps. In fact, in 2020 and 2021 combined, Herbig played 1,493 snaps, third-most among Eagles offensive linemen. Opeta, even further down the depth chart, has played 394 snaps the last two seasons:

Player 2020 snaps 2021 snaps TOTAL 
Jason Kelce 1124 993 2117 
Jordan Mailata 776 977 1753 
Nate Herbig 935 558 1493 
Lane Johnson 405 821 1226 
Landon Dickerson N/A 920 920 
Jack Driscoll 334 532 866 
Matt Pryor 819 N/A 819 
Isaac Seumalo 614 177 791 
Jason Peters 507 N/A 507 
Andre Dillard 407 407 
Sua Opeta 191 203 394 

The Eagles initially tendered Herbig as a restricted free agent at $2.4 million this offseason, hoping to trade him for something in return, before they eventually waived him. Opeta is cheap, at just $965,000 in 2022, and he'll be a restricted free agent next offseason.

The Eagles' current depth chart along their offensive line currently looks something like this: 

Jordan Mailata Landon Dickerson Jason Kelce Isaac Seumalo Lane Johnson 
Andre Dillard Sua Opeta Cam Jurgens Jack Driscoll Le'Raven Clark 
 Brett Toth Josh Sills Jack Anderson Kayode Awoskia Jarrid Williams 
   Bill Dunkle  

In my opinion, Opeta is better than Herbig. He is highly likely to make the team and play meaningful snaps once again in 2022.

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